Transition and Transformation in Gippsland
Transition has been occurring across Gippsland for a number of years now, prompted by major industry closures, drought, bushfires, climate change, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sudden closure of Hazelwood Power Station in 2017 highlighted the importance of everyone in our community working together to shape a future that is both sustainable and resilient.
For supply chain companies of Hazelwood, this meant diversifying their products and services to enter growth sectors and learning to market themselves with a clearly defined unique selling proposition – something they had never needed to do to secure work previously.
The establishment of the Latrobe Valley Authority(LVA)provided immediate support to the workers of Hazelwood Power Station and their families, but perhaps more critically, sowed the seeds for everyone in the Gippsland region to contribute to a sustainable future. A lot of the LVA’s early work involved listening and learning from local people, to gain a genuine understanding of the community’s needs and aspirations.
Stimulus investments from the Victorian Government in local business, community and sporting infrastructure, combined with a keen focus on keeping spend in the region through GROW Gippsland, has led to increased employment opportunities for local people.
By adopting the Smart Specialisation approach–an internationally trialed and tested method of bringing together industry, community, education and government to leverage a region’s competitive advantages, the LVA is now focussed on opportunities associated with Gippsland’s four identified growth sectors:
By working with all levels of government, education, and industry, Gippsland communities are now shaping their own future – driving innovative solutions that will embed long-term change and sustainability.
Other transition work underway
National and international connections
We have gained significant interest from organisations across Victoria, Australia and abroad on how the Latrobe Valley Authority is working in partnership with the local community to undertake transition and long-term, sustainable transformation.
We are working closely with national and international agencies including in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, European Union, South Africa, USA, Chile, and the World Economic Forum.
As a result of this, the Smart Specialisation approach for Gippsland has been adopted as it aligns to the needs of the region and has demonstrated significant impact in transforming regions across the world.
Central to the Smart Specialisation approach is government, both state and local, education, industry and the community working together to identify and develop regional competitive advantages and long-term growth strategies and actions.
Being part of the Smart Specialisation global community has provided the Gippsland region with access to world renowned experts, knowledge and resources such as case studies and frameworks to explore and learn from.
If your organisation would like to learn more about the Latrobe Valley Authority’s transition work or the Smart Specialisation approach for Gippsland, please get in touch.
Victorian Forestry Plan
The Victorian Government has developed the Victorian Forestry Plan to assist the native timber industry as it manages its transition away from native forest harvesting.
Under the long-term plan, a $120 million package will help make sure workers, businesses and communities have the support they need during the transition.
For more information, please visit www.vic.gov.au/victorian-forestry-plan